Hotstar, one of India’s leading streaming services and home to a huge catalog of shows including the 16-time Emmy winner ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’, has been bombarded with 1-star reviews for its decision to not upload an episode of the show that focused on Prime Minister Modi.
Most of the reviews have been published by Android users on the Play Store, directly mentioning terms like ‘censorship’, ‘John Oliver’, ‘Last Week Tonight’ and more related words as can be seen in the screenshots below.
Hotstar, the Disney-owned streaming service is all set to be rebranded to Disney+ Hotstar next month with the launch of Disney+ in India. The service has previously also self-censored content on its platform — in fact, it was John Oliver’s show’s episode back in November last year, where he poked fun at Disney, that was censored back then.
It definitely appears as though this decision was made to appease the Indian government, although news reports are citing government sources claiming that there was no complaint filed against the episode, and that streaming services aren’t held up to the same rules as TV channels anyway.
What’s more, the “Last Week Tonight” show uploads parts of its episodes to YouTube as well, so Hotstar’s censorship wouldn’t likely stop people from watching the show anyway.